Nicolas Ghesquière has spent seasons making sportswear sportier and pushing ever farther into menswear's future. For Spring, he threw on the brakes, temporally and conceptually: He reintroduced the Balenciaga suit. It can't surprise any label fans that he can cut a very good one. These were two-button jobs, slim in the waist, through the arm, and down the leg, in wool-mohair blends. They were shown, like almost every look, with white turtlenecks as
layering pieces for a slightly sixties spin.
Evergreen standards reappeared as is Ghesquière's wont, this time in vivid new colors: bombers in teal neoprene, jewel-tone jeans, and reversible leather-nylon jackets in contrast shades. Color-blocking of a more direct variety appeared on cotton knits, laser-cut for added sharpness. Their topmost panel was angled atilt—a nod, you could believe, to the more off-kilter cool of earlier seasons. You got a hint of that, too, in leather belts that zippered on to (and fully off of, if you like) sweaters and tops. Here they were left dangling half unzipped (an analogue, almost, to the flyaway shirttails from the house's Spring 2011 women's collection). It's a done-undone look no man of the sixties would have considered. A reminder, in other words, that despite a neater, tidier season, you're still at Balenciaga.